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Seminar Series

Fall 2021

Presenter: Derrek Kayongo

Wednesday, October 13, 2021 5:30pm I Performing Arts Center

The nobility and power of Derreck Kayongo’s story and how he used it to arrive at his innovative Global Soap Project will leave audiences awe-inspired. Kayongo believes that not every bad experience in life has to end up horribly — sometimes bad experiences happen so they lead us to a problem we need to solve or to our true calling in life. Drawing on the hardships of his refugee experience, Kayongo shares how he went on to manufacture a solution to a global problem, the life lessons he learned along the way, and how they apply to one’s ability to stay relevant in today’s market.

Fall 2020

The Conscious Closet
Elizabeth Cline
Tuesday, Oct. 13 via Zoom at 7pm

Spring 2020

Empowering The Next Generation Through Greening Sports
Ovie Mughelli
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 @ 7PM, Performing Arts Center, Statesboro Campus

Join the Center for Sustainability for a presentation by former Atlanta Falcon and two-time All-Pro NFL Player, Ovie Mughelli, who will be speaking on “‘Empowering the next generation through greening sports.” The event is free and open to the public.

Ovie Mughelli is an award winning and nationally recognized retired professional athlete, turned environmental advocate. During his nine seasons playing in the National Football League, Ovie was considered one of the best fullbacks in the NFL, while playing for the Atlanta Falcons and the Baltimore Ravens.

Ovie is a devoted husband and father of three young children. He was awakened to the connection of human health to our planet’s health when his two youngest children were born premature. Ovie recognized that we need a shift in our culture of how we connect with, see and treat our planet.

As a result, he founded The Ovie Mughelli Foundation where he is educating and empowering the next generation of green leaders. He is working to diversify the green industry, giving equal access to all the benefits that green spaces provide. Ultimately, he wants to leave a legacy that will allow youth to have a better future – advocating for healthy environmental practices and opening kids eyes to the need for everyone to take an active role in saving the planet.

He has advocated on the issue at the highest levels, including at the United Nations, increased employee giving to green initiatives, started a national initiative to change the throw-away culture surrounding sporting events into one that is eco-friendly and sustainable, and is closing the skills gap for kids from underrepresented and underserved communities.

His proudest achievement is a STEM-focused and diverse graphic novel, gamification app and curriculum that educates kids and teens on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the environment, which is free for schools. His latest initiative is challenging the public to help get the ‘Gridiron Green’ comic into 20,000 schools across the United States.

Ovie has worked with and been acknowledged by leaders in the Earth protection movement, and has developed partnerships with agencies including the EPA, Sierra Club, and Green Sports Alliance. He was named one of the world’s top Eco Athlete’s by the Planet Green Foundation, was the closing speaker at the White House’s Sports and Sustainability Conference.

Watch Ovie Mughelli speak on empowering the next generations here

Designing and Living for a Carbon-Balanced Planet
Elaine Gallagher Adams
Wednesday, February 27, 2019 @7PM, Assembly Hall (Room 1915) Nessmith Lane Conference Center, Statesboro Campus

Architect Elaine Gallagher Adams will be speaking on “Designing and Living for a Carbon-Balanced Planet.” She was involved in the greening of the Empire State Building (which is the tallest LEED certified buildings in the US) and designed her own net zero home which generates as much energy as it uses.

An architect, mom, foodie, urban farmer, and electric car enthusiast, Elaine Gallagher Adams is a Rocky Mountain Institute alum, who teaches architecture, historic preservation, sustainability, and urban design at Savannah College of Art & Design. As Sustainability Director for LS3P Associates, she serves as a national voice for mindful design, high-performance buildings, and environmental accountability – building energy and ecological awareness, sustainable preservation, exploring new technologies, connecting to global sustainability issues including climate resilience, water scarcity, cultural sustainability, local food, and decentralized economies… while creating beautiful and inspiring buildings, places, and cities.

Watch Elaine Adams recent TED talk here

Climate of Democracy
Dr. David Orr
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 @7PM, Performing Arts Center & Simulcast to Ogeechee Theater, Armstrong Campus

David Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies at Oberlin College and a James Marsh Professor-at-Large at the University of Vermont. He is best known for his pioneering work on environmental literacy in higher education and his recent work in ecological design. He spearheaded the effort to fund, design, and build a $7.2 million Environmental Studies Center at Oberlin College, a building described by the New York Times as “the most remarkable” of a new generation of college buildings and selected as one of 30 “milestone buildings in the 20th century” by the U.S. Department of Energy. Orr is recipient of numerous awards and was described by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as “one of those who will shape our lives.”

Dr. Orr received a BA degree from Westminster College, an MA degree from Michigan State University, and a PhD degree from the International Relations University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of numerous books and articles.

Visit the Oberlin Project website here

Planetary Consciousness, Local Economies
Dr. Vandana Shiva
Monday, October 16, 2017 @7PM, Performing Arts Center

Dr. Vandana Shiva, internationally known author and global sustainable agriculture/ food security expert, will speak as part of Georgia Southern’s Sustainability Seminar Series. You won’t want to miss this incredible sustainability leader of our time! This event is hosted by the Center for Sustainability in partnership with First Year Experience, the Multicultural Student Center, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and International Programs and Services. The event is free and open to the public.

Learn more about Dr. Shiva here

New Story: Transforming Slums Into Sustainable Communities
Matthew Marshall
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 7PM, Performing Arts Center

Matthew Marshall, co-founder of the non-profit start-up New Story, will speak about his experience as a young social entrepreneur and the company’s work to transform slums into sustainable communities in Haiti, El Salvador and Bolivia. The event, part of the Global Engagement Series and the Sustainability Seminar Series, is free and open to the public. To learn more about New Story, visit their website.

Learn more about New Story here

Packing it Out
Seth Orme
Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 7PM, Nessmith Lane Assembly Hall

The Center for Sustainability will feature Statesboro native and Georgia Southern graduate Seth Orme as the first Spring 2017 Sustainability Speaker at Georgia Southern. Co-founder of the “Packing It Out” Project, Seth Orme will speak about his experiences raising awareness of Leave No Trace principles and packing out thousands of pounds of trash while thru-hiking the Appalachian and the Pacific Crest Trails. His public lecture for the campus and community will inspire the audience to #LeaveItBetter.

To learn more about Seth Orme and Packing It Out, visit

Visit the Packing it Out website here

Modern Materials, Modern Machines
Natalia Allen
Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 7PM, Performing Arts Center

Natalia Allen merges fashion and technology to create beautiful minimalist clothing for modern women. Her collection, Natalia Allen, is ideal for professional women because it is travel-friendly, versatile and timeless. The entire collection is also manufactured in the USA by robots where they are programmed to manufacture the clothes seamlessly. Rather than cut and sew or knit and link, the robots stitch the entire style in one-step. The streamlined process saves fuel and textile waste; it also improves the working conditions for factory workers while making quality clothes. 

Natalia Allen graduated from Parsons School of Design as Designer of the Year, a title she shares with Marc Jacobs. In 2005, Natalia founded Design Futurist, a design consulting firm that created innovative products for global brands like Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Dupont and P&G, before launching her own fashion-forward collection, Natalia Allen. She has also received recognition by Fast Company as one of the 100 Most Creative professionals and by the World Economic Forum (Davos) as a Young Global Leader. She is a Design Futures Council Senior Fellow and lectures worldwide on sustainable fashion and technology.

Watch Natalia Allen speak on sustainable fashion here

2015-2016 Seminar Series

Cashawn Myers will present the work of  HABESHA, Inc. (Helping Africa By Establishing Schools at Home and Abroad) in the U.S. and Africa, focusing on indigenous knowledge as it relates to sustainability.

Cashawn Myers is a founding member of HABESHA, Inc., which provides leadership, development, and knowledge to youth and their families as it relates to sustainability.  He received his BS in Psychology from Florida A&M University, and a Masters of Education from Howard University.

Cashawn travels throughout Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean where he shares his experience of healthy living and sustainable agriculture.  He has been recognized nationally and internationally through TV, radio and print media for his hard work in the upliftment of peoples of African ancestry.

Visit the HABESHA website here

Tom Szaky is the Founder and CEO of Terracycle, an international leader in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle post-consumer waste, from used chip bags to cigarette butts.  On a yearly basis across 23 countries, TerraCycle collects and repurposes billions of pieces of waste, creating millions of dollars of donations for school and charities in the process.  Many of the world’s largest consumer product companies contract with TerraCycle to collect and recycle post-consumer products and packaging they produce.  Through TerraCycle, Tom has pioneered a process, involving manufactures, retailers, consumers and community groups, to create circular solutions for waste that otherwise would go to landfill or be incinerated.  Tom is the author of two books, Revolution in a Bottle published April 2009 by Portfolio andOutsmart Waste published January 2014 by Berrett-Koehler.

Tom is an acclaimed international public speaker, and speaks to corporate and academic audiences regularly.  Tom created, produced and stars in a new reality TB show, “Human Resources” currently airing on Pivot TV.  Tom and TerraCycle have received over 100 social, environmental and business awards from a range of organizations including the United Nations, World Economic Forum, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Learn more about TerraCycle here

Barton Seaver is a chef who has dedicated his career to restoring the relationship we have with our ocean. It is his belief that the choices we are making for dinner are directly impacting the ocean and its fragile ecosystems.

Barton has been lauded as a leader in sustainability by the Seafood Choices Alliance and was named a fellow with the Blue Ocean Institute. Barton has joined the board of Harvard Medical School’s Center for Health and the Global Environment. Together with National Geographic, the Center is partnering with hospitals and health care providers in the Greater Boston area to educate them about healthier and more sustainable food service opportunities.

He is the author of For Cod And Country (Sterling, Spring 2011), a book of recipes that inspires ocean conservation through the experience that we all share—dinner.

Learn more about Barton Seaver here

2014-2015 Seminar Series

Will Allen, farmer, founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc. is recognized as a preeminent practitioner of urban agriculture in America and throughout the world. A former pro basketball player, he was awarded the McArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” in 2008 – only the second farmer ever to be so honored. In 2010, he stood with First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House to launch her “Let’s Move!” initiative to reverse childhood obesity. Time magazine named Will as one of 100 World’s Most Influential People in 2010. Growing Power is involved in more than 70 projects and outreach programs in Milwaukee & Chicago, across the United States and throughout the world.

Allen’s presentation is a part of the Center for Sustainability’s seminar series, featuring nationally and internationally recognized leaders in sustainability since 2008. Attendance verification will be provided for students.

Watch Will Allen speak on sustainable urban farming here

Mark Fenton speaks regularly on topics ranging from how to create more livable, sustainable and successful cities and towns to delivering innovative personal health and fitness programs for employees and community members. Mark frequently consults with public health, planning, and engineering agencies and private firms on creating more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly communities. He also works closely with work sites and schools to help create healthier settings and more active populations. Following are five typical formats through which he delivers his work, but will happily work within your time constraints and needs to fulfill your specific goals.

His goal is simple, to build communities that support a healthier, more physically active population, and more sustainable and enjoyable lifestyles. The pathway there, however, is very challenging. Mark Fenton is a public health, planning, and transportation consultant who is trying to help America find its way to more active and more livable cities, towns, and neighborhoods. He works with organizations and communities around the country to build environments, policies, and programs that help to create places where more people walk, bicycle, and take transit more of the time. And its not just about healthier people. Done well, active community designs lead to economically, environmentally, and socially thriving cities, towns, and rural settings where people of all ages, abilities, and incomes lead long, vibrant lives.

Visit Mark Fenton’s website here

Richard Louv is a journalist and author of eight books about the connections between family, nature and community. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (Algonquin Books), translated into 13 languages and published in 20 countries, has stimulated an international conversation about relationships between children and nature. The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder (Algonquin Books, 2011), offers a new vision for the future, in which our lives are as immersed in the natural world as they are in technology. This future, available to all of us right now, offers better psychological, physical and spiritual health for people of every age.

In 2008, Louv was awarded the Audubon Medal, presented by the National Audubon Society. Previous recipients include Rachel Carson, E. O. Wilson and President Jimmy Carter. In 2012, Louv delivered the closing keynote at the first White House Summit on Environmental Education. Louv has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Times of London, and other major publications. He has appeared on many national TV shows, including NBC’s Today Show and Nightly News, the CBS Evening News, ABC’s Good Morning America, and NPR’s Morning Edition, Fresh Air, and Talk of the Nation.

Louv’s presentation is hosted by the Center for Sustainability, in association with the Recreation & Tourism Management Program at Georgia Southern University. The seminar is a part of the Center for Sustainability’s seminar series, featuring nationally and internationally recognized leaders in sustainability since 2008. Attendance verification will be provided for students.

Learn more about Richard Louv here

2013-2014 Seminar Series

Dr. Steven Chu, Nobel Prize Winner in Physics and former U.S. Secretary of Energy, is the keynote speaker for No Impact Week, hosted by the Center for Sustainability and the University Wellness Program. A distinguished physicist, innovative professor and the first science laureate to serve as U.S. Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu will offer insight on our energy future—and how advances in science are the key to solving our most confounding global issues.

A forward-thinking visionary, Dr. Steven Chu’s sharp focus on research during his time as secretary of energy transformed the agency by bringing science to the forefront of America’s clean energy policy. Chu was also a top science advisor to President Barack Obama, where he used his skills to assist BP in stopping the massive Gulf oil leak and assisted the government of Japan in dealing with the tsunami-damaged Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear reactors.  
His work in laser cooling and trapping was honored as a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997. He continues to work on solving the country’s energy problems by focusing on new pathways to sustainable, carbon dioxide-neutral energy.  
This free event, which is open to the public, is sponsored by the College of Science and Mathematics, Department of Physics, Center for Sustainability, Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and the University Wellness Program.

Learn more about Dr. Steven Chu here

Architect, author, and strategist Lance Hosey is Chief Sustainability Officer with the global design leader RTKL. As one of the world’s largest architecture firms, RTKL has significant reach and influence on the built environment. Lance is a former Director with William McDonough + Partners and the former President & CEO of the sustainability non-profit GreenBlue. His latest book, The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design (Island Press, 2012), the first to study the relationships between sustainability and beauty, has been Amazon’s #1 bestseller for sustainable design.
Hosted by the Center for Sustainability in partnership with the Interior Design Program.

Visit Lance Hosey’s website here

David Guernsey is the acknowledged “father of sustainability” for UPS and a pioneer of sustainability in the transportation industry. A 34 year veteran of the company, David’s efforts led UPS to substantial global brand recognition, industry leadership and a path towards a more sustainable business model.
Some of his achievements are as follows:
• 2011 SmartWay Champion by U.S. EPA
• Led the development of 9 annual sustainability reports
• Directly connected to corporate recognitions including:
   o Fortune Most Admired – #1 in Social Responsibility
   o 100 Best Corporate Citizens
   o Global 100 Most Sustainable Companies
   o Climate Counts – Industry highest score
   o Carbon Disclosure Project – Industry highest score
David Guernsey’s seminar is hosted by the Department of Management in the College of Business Administration in partnership with the Center for Sustainability and with support from the College of Science and Mathematics.

Learn more about David Guernsey

Last updated: 5/10/2022